With this win, India have taken a 2-0 lead in the five-match series and the 'Men in Blue' have also risen to the numero uno spot in the ICC ODI rankings.
Chasing a fighting target of 252, Australia didn't have the best of starts, as Bhuvneshwar Kumar wrecked the Aussies top order with his scintillating swing and pace. The right-arm pacer first castled Hitlon Cartwright for 1 and then in his next over, he got rid of Aussie vice-captain David Warner for 1.
Skipper Steve Smith and Travis Head steadied the ship for the visitors and the duo added 76 runs for the fourth wickets. Head was also given a lifeline by Rohit Sharma, who dropped the catch of the southpaw in the slip while he was batting on 15.
The big partnership was finally broken by Yuzvendra Chahal in the 17th over when Head hit a full-toss straight into the hands of Manish Pandey who was fielding at mid-wicket. Maxwell was the next to depart as he was stumped by the brilliance of Dhoni off the bowling of Chahal for 14.
Smith continued to hold the innings from one end as he notched up his 18th ODI fifty. But Smith's (79) vigil out in the middle finally came to an end as he gave away an easy catch to Ravindra Jadeja at mid-wicket off the bowling of Hardik Pandya.
Kuldeep Yadav then took over and became only the third Indian ever to take an ODI hat-trick. Kuldeep scalped the wickets of Matthew Wade (2), Ashton Agar (0), Pat Cummins (0) to also become only the third cricketer ever — after Kapil Dev (1991) & Harbhajan Singh (2001) — to take a hat-trick at Eden Gardens across all formats.
Marcus Stoinis slammed his maiden ODI fifty but it wasn't enough as the visitors fell short by 50 runs. With this loss, Australia are now win-less in their last 13 ODIs away from home. Amongst away/neutral matches to have produced a definitive result, Australia have lost now lost 10 on the trot.
Earlier, skipper Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane slammed fifties before Australian bowlers made a stunning comeback to restrict the hosts to 252 all-out.
India didn't have the best of starts after opting to bat first, opener Rohit Sharma was dismissed early by Nathan Coulter-Nile for just 5. However, from there on, Kohli and Rahane joined forces in the middle and took the attack to the visitors.
Kohli looked in great touch and along with Rahane shared 102 runs off just 111 deliveries for the second wicket to set the base for the total. Kohli's 107-ball knock included eight boundaries, while Rahane hit seven fours during his 64-ball innings.
But just when it seemed that India are on their way towards a huge score, the visitors forged a brilliant fightback with medium pacers Nathan Coulter-Nile (3/51) and Kane Richardson (3/55) doing most of the damage.
Rahane's was finally run-out in the 24th over and Aston Agar then removed Manish Pandey for just 3 runs to bring the visitors right back into the match. But Kohli kept going and was on course towards his 31st ODI ton. Kohli and Jadhav added 55 runs for the fourth wicket to steady the ship after two quick blows.
However, Coulter-Nile's twin strikes (Jadhav and Kohli) in successive overs titled the balance in favour of the visitors. Kohli was castled by the right-arm pacer, while Jadhav was caught by Glenn Maxwell while he was attempting a cut shot.
Brought in place of James Faulkner, Richardson picked up the key wickets of last match heroes Mahendra Singh Dhoni (5) and Hardik Pandya (20) to further peg back India. There was also an injury scare for Pandya, who was hit hard on the grill of his helmet by a shot from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and the all-rounder was down on the ground for couple of minutes.
With 15 balls remaining in the innings, a passing shower held up the game for almost 20 minutes with India placed at 236 for 7.
Pacer Pat Cummins (1/34) and left-arm spinner Ashton Agar (1/54) also picked up a wicket each for Australia as India were bowled out in the last ball of the innings after they comfortably placed at 186 for three in 35 overs.
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First Published: September 22, 2017, 8:32 AM IST